Hello All, Roger Wiegand's post of "Pedro the Hand Organ Man" on
Edison Cylinder was unusual and quite interesting to me. I have never
heard until now such a gradual fade-out effect quite like this one in
any other cylinder. Besides the sounds effects, even the monkey organ
sounds as if it is fading into the distance.
From a technical standpoint, how did they achieve this over 100 years
ago? I very much doubt the scene was recorded outdoors, because the
audio is quite clear and doesn't contain extraneous background or crowd
noise. Now, today in the digital age, a fade-out is as simple as
applying a filter effect over an audio track.
From the amount of archived recordings these street scenes sold well.
There is another interesting "street scene" recording of a street piano
medley located at the tinfoil.com cylinder recordings web site on the
real audio format: http://www.tinfoil.com/cm-9701.htm
There is some controversy over this recording whether there were
several stationed pianos queued to play with single tunes or a single
piano with multiple tunes. To my untrained ear the cylinder sounds
like it could be a very forcefully played (and out of tune) player
piano performing a single roll. What would classify an instrument as
"street piano"? Would this at the time be considered a barrel piano
or could it be something else entirely?
In the recent recordings I have heard of barrel pianos, the instruments
sound far less precise tonally and mechanically than the above cylinder
recording. If the street piano recording is indeed of a player piano
then who produced the roll? Many unsolved mysteries to this one which
may likely never be answered.
Lastly, can someone point me to some good literature (preferably
on-line) on what types of mechanical instruments were used historically
in street performances?